Get Your Internets Off My Lawn!

“That we live in curious times is easy for me to say from the vantage point of my early thirties. There is much I don’t understand in this world, particularly why people would have any interest in doing what they do. Aside from the aforementioned age, I also acknowledge that as a person – an individual - I just genuinely have little to no interest in the majority of social anything, so I find peace in knowing that I was never the target audience.

Criticism leveled at youth can be found everywhere and is so tired it’s barely worth mentioning. The silence of school buses and the lack of social skills in the techno-saturated youth; the awful music and strange fashion choices. These are just the latest incarnation of the same criticisms aimed by the old and aging towards anyone younger than themselves. There is a perverse comfort in feeling old, perverted by the equally – sometimes stronger – desire to be young again. An inner turmoil that things are getting away from you just like life itself, one moment at a time. So why not hate the blissfully ignorant? They are, after all, squandering their youth in a way you would never dream of if given the chance to turn back time, right?

For my part, I grew up with video games – albeit simpler ones – cordless phones; pagers came around in high school, the internet was already a “thing” by the time I was interested in downloading pornography. I dressed funny and had friends that dressed funny and I listened to music that wasn’t widely popular and I was angry and moody and confused like teenagers have always been. Had Facebook existed back then, I would have likely been on it. I might have tweeted things and might have checked up on the status of friends, family and enemies. I might have given a shit, because I gave a shit about that sort of thing back then. Not because I was social, but because I was a teenager. I wanted to be loved and accepted. I wanted to be cool if only to casually blow off those simple enough to think that. I was a real peach.

Which is where I’m drawing a personal distinction. Youth has always brought with it its own culture and kids will always be kids and teens will always be holy terrors and well, Porno for Pyros (remember them? No?) summed that one up with their flash-in-the-pan hit “Pets.”. The fact is, that culture, trends, etc will change. But fundamental humanness does not. Criticizing youth for being plugged in and physically detached is more a criticism of pop culture rather than human nature. Pop, after all, is only a letter away from pap. It has also existed forever. Liszt was noisy and ridiculous, the Beatles and Elvis the same,  as were the Stones and Michael Jackson and the Spice Girls and Madonna, and the list goes on and on. I won’t even touch on the attendant fashions, but you get the idea.

At the end of the day, why anyone could possibly care is beyond me. Will youth ruin the world? Maybe. Did they before? Maybe. I guess it’s up to the individual to decide for themselves what constitutes as “ruined.” Every generation brings its ups and downs, and some of the ups are fantastic and some of the downs are awful. So what? From my youngish Gen-Xer perch I can say I don’t care for hipsters, or the music on the radio and I have no desire to join any sort of social anything.  But that’s just who I am. I look at my nephews and nieces and wonder what they’re going to do to piss off the current twentysomethings once they become teenagers. And I have to admit, I find the whole thing really fucking amusing.”

- Brylen Dingustein

The Social Shitwork

Brice couldn’t believe what he was seeing on his phone. This certainly wasn’t the first corn-based shitpic he’d ever seen, but Skylar had knocked it out of the park. This resembled the contents of an entire can of whole kernel corn held together with only the slightest noticeable amount of feces. If it wasn’t sitting in Skylar’s toilet right now he wouldn’t believe it. But he recognized the tissue dispenser sitting on the tank. Totes jelly.

This had been the third shock Brice had suffered this week. First his cousin in Amsterdam Vined himself taking a herring and beer shit which was already up to a hundred and seventy thousand hits. Then Django’s little cousin had autotuned her shit after eating Brussels sprouts and cheese; a cacophony of gas followed by just a few pebbles of hard, dark shit. It was hilarious. And now this cornucopia.

Brice’s mind reeled at how to top it. It seemed like everyone else was doing so many more exciting things with their shit. Glamorous things on a bigger scale. He felt he was falling behind and that his only true accomplishment to date – a smooth, fibrous turd at least two feet long that had coiled upon itself – was now old news and long forgotten.

Going downstairs he saw Crispin uninterestedly picking at a bowl of tuna and cheese while Kidz Bop played silently on the set. Crispin was lost in his new “Limoncello Piss” yellow Beats headphones. Even if he weren’t listening to Brokencyde he wouldn’t be much help. They’d been trying to top each other’s shit for years.

His iPhone 7, 12G LTE buzzed and to his horror he saw that Bianca from Home Ec. had just posted a picture of shit she left on the couch after eating some bad pizza. It already had ten likes. His heart sank as he clipped his phone back to its carabiner. It was unfathomable how this could be happening. Crispin chuckled hollowly from the table. Suely he’d just seen Bianca’s upload.

Going through the pantry Brice scrambled to find something, anything that he could work with. His shit from this morning had been unimpressive. He posted as they all did to keep up with shit, but it had only received several courtesy likes. He found a can of quinoa and some fiber powder which would be a good start, but not nearly enough. Some refried beans made with lard and jalapeno would help and he snatched those.

From there he moved on to the fridge. His phone buzzed again and within seconds his brother laughed. Brice wasn’t going to look. This is the kind of popularity contest that leads to school shootings and teen suicide. He had to keep his eye on the prize. Old Chinese food, good. Some finely shredded cheddar cheese. A bowl full of grease-filmed ground round. In the crisper he found kale, asparagus and onions. He took them all.

His brother looked at him and picked the crotch of his pants before pushing his bowl away and leaving the room. Brice placed all the items on the counter and started to figure a plan. The phone buzzed again and he couldn’t resist. Devon holding up her Great Dane’s shit in a napkin, Chadwick in Rio Instagramming a sweet pic of a public bathroom. Shit smeared all over the walls and floor. “Wish you were here.” The likes were instant.

More and more shit popped up in myriad forms, all of it incredible. What was going on? It was three in the afternoon. How did people have all this shit to post? Didn’t anyone study or work or sleep? He put his phone back and got out the blender and put everything in. At this point it would be a chunky paste that would take too long to consume. He needed something to add viscosity and settled for garlic-infused olive oil and two-percent milk.

Starting slow, Brice pulsed the concoction to break it up and then slowly upped the speed (adding fluids accordingly) until the blender whirred in easy indifference. After several minutes it looked like he was finished. He poured his creation into his old sixty four ounce Yo Gabba Gabba  Travelchug to shield it from prying eyes and poured in several squirts of Sriracha for good measure before moving to the couch.

He placed his phone on silent but still checked it constantly as he drank, each post further steeling his resolve. The goop went down well enough, oily and spicy and cool. A few chunks hadn’t broken down completely and he chewed these thoughtfully as he liked Raymundo’s ghost shit, evidenced only by faintest brown-orange smear at the bottom of the bowl.

By the time That’s So Raven came on he was done. The fear gripped him as he felt nothing. Nothing at all, nothing brewing, no gas no anything. He couldn’t let his Wednesday end like this. Come Monday they would be back in school and only the best shit would be talked about and there was a dance coming up and if he didn’t have anything… he was beside himself.

Ten minutes turned to twenty, turned to thirty. The day was dragging at a snail’s pace. How long would he have to wait? What if nothing happened? He got up off the couch and went back upstairs to play XBOX Palladium.  When he got to the top of the stairs, a grumble. Then another. He felt a hot jet soil his shorts and smiled.

Brice ran to the bathroom as the cramps grew acute and came at regular intervals. But what’s this? Locked! Crispin was probably in there jerking off again. More gas and shit started leaking out as he ran to his parent’s room. At last! He set up his iPhone on its built-in tripod and peeled off his jeans, hot shit flowing everywhere.

Shit sprayed on the shower door and seeped into the carpet. Shit got ankle deep and shit flecked up and soaked his shirt. The smell was wretched and he desperately wished he had the technology to share that. He took his phone and panned the room as the shit kept coming. It was massive and positively the most exciting thing he’d ever seen. This was the kind of shit that would get Lisle to go to the dance with him.

The unblinking eye of the phone caught it all and stored it safely in the cloud. Soon the bathroom looked as if someone had exploded an IED of shit in it. Not a square inch lay bereft of Brice’s glory. The stream had slowed down and he sat dizzily at the edge of the toilet. His head hurt and the shit seemed redder than it should have been.

As the bathroom bowed and shrank before his eyes he fumbled to post the video and peppered Facebook with some stills for good measure. The likes started coming in and he smiled as he stood and tripped over a length of lumpy red rope on the floor. He pulled it with his foot and felt it deep in his gut. His eyes widened and he took another step and fell forward into the doorknob lodging it into his right orbit.

It was uncertain how long it took his parents to get back from the farmer’s market and find Brice, but authorities calculate he lay dead in his shit for at least twelve hours before his body was discovered. The video received six billion hits, which means that roughly eighty six percent of the world saw what Brice had accomplished.

Back at school he was the talk of the town. People wore parachute pants filled with Jello pudding; the memes went into the hundreds of thousands. Dozens of blogs were created in his honor. “What Would Brice Poo” bracelets became de rigueur across the developed world. Brice’s glory radiated across the land for almost an entire week. Until a boy named Siegfried Carbuncle was taped launching his shit through not one, but three flaming hoops he’d set up in his grandmother’s back yard.

The Plus One

It was the usual boring gala, this time for charity benefitting the impoverished cataractous  Jewish children of the world, Krystal Klear Kids. It was the kind of event that happens incessantly in this part of Los Angeles at this time of year. The food was the same, the same tired hollow women, glowing in jewels and sequins. The old Hollywood with their fishbowl glasses, the climbers, the desperate wait staff. This could have been anywhere, but it was likely the Beverly Hilton. Or maybe it was the Beverly Hills Hotel.

The droning presentation over, the social hour commenced. He sat alone at the table, the cold plastic chicken in front of him still and his wine glass nearing empty. He was wearing an expensive suit he’d had tailored. He looked good and uncomfortable, but he was playing a role and this was important that he come and support her and drink as much as he could without drawing negative attention to himself. That was his sole duty at these things.

He couldn’t spot her anywhere. She always disappeared like this leaving him to drink alone. These weren’t his circles, his events or people. He was a heartbeat at a table. Mulling this over he drained his wine and asked for more. Anonymity provided him a certain comfort, so he continued to get drunk completely unnoticed by everyone aside from the awkward waiter who continued to fill his cup. The waiter probably thought he was someone. The idea made him laugh. The idiot probably came from Bumfuck Indiana to make his Hollywood dreams come true and here he was: trying to impress a ghost by being prompt with the cheap wine.

The minutes flowed into what felt like an eternity as his contempt grew with the drink. Why did he agree to this? He wasn’t the only one, true, but these appendage men – these plus ones – didn’t have soul left to befriend one another. This terrified him. He didn’t want to die like that. He didn’t want to sit here like that. He needed to get up and move around at least. Feel the blood move through his legs. He decided  he had to go to the bathroom. The first time he was on his feet since he’d sat down nearly two hours ago. It would be good to stretch and maybe catch an eyeful of some of the trophies bursting from their dresses as they milled dully about.

Weaving silently through the crowd he looked at all the breasts and legs and asses of the young women who were invariably attached to much older, richer and uglier men. He hated these people and the women in particular. He would have never asked any one of them out. They had never been an option for him and he hated them – and himself – for it.

Hot and angry he entered the empty bathroom. Pure silence. Was he truly alone? He glanced at himself in the mirror and thought more about the women and the city and being broke and never sleeping enough. He still looked okay, but that would fade. He would just continue to fade and fade a bit more each day until he was part of the landscape. No more than a pebble or a discarded can or a used condom drying in the sun.

Glancing around he noticed that the door to the last stall was open. He went over to investigate and was surprised to find it being cleaned by a young Hispanic woman. He knew nothing of these people; the people that clean and cook and fix everything. They too were part of the landscape, their brown skin matching the city. He looked curiously down at her. She was pretty in a simple peasant way and tried to apologize unintelligibly as he closed the door behind them.

The terror in her eyes froze her tongue as he pushed her back over the open toilet and tore open her uniform. He stared down into the quivering brown and black pools, daring a tear to come out. None came as he worked away her panties revealing a large mass of pubic hair. The sight of the tufted hair disgusted him as did her small flat breasts in their dirty,  too-large bra. Yet he’d gone too far to quit now and he pushed through and forced his way inside her the dry coarse heat giving way to slippery warmth.

As quickly as it had begun, it was over.  His hand had moved away from her mouth and still she made no sound, only heaved softly. As he zipped himself he felt a mix of pity and regret for the creature that sat crumpled quietly before him. Had she enjoyed any of it? What he knew is that now he felt nothing for the women outside, rather a feeling of shame set in.

She began to say something as she feebly attempted to pull her torn uniform up around herself. She seemed somewhat annoyed in a simple way that was somehow worse. He realized that he had nothing for her so took a utility knife from her cleaning bucket and sawed her throat open as cleanly as he could, pushing her head into the toilet to catch the blood like the slaughtering of a sacrificial goat.

Cautiously he peeked out of the stall and found that he was still alone. He thought it was curious that at no point had she made a noise. The whole ordeal transpired as if she expected it.  Had she made a noise he would have spared her. He didn’t intend on killing anyone but now that he had he was exhilarated. He smoothed his hair and checked his tuxedo for evidence. In no time he looked perhaps better than when he’s entered the bathroom. As he was drying his hands another man walked in, and his blood ran cold.

He looked about desperately for something to bludgeon the old man with but the man did nothing to acknowledge him as  he brushed past to the end stall. After an instant the old man muttered something about  ”someone should clean that up” before moving several stalls down and closing the door. He couldn’t believe his luck. Had the old man seen what he’d left or had it been a dream? He finished straightening up as the sound of flatulence and diarrhea echoed through the bathroom and he left.

Back in the ballroom nothing had changed. He scanned once again for his date and didn’t recognize anyone among the plastic sea of faces. Back at the table he gathered his coat and drained the remaining glasses of wine. He decided it was time to leave. Motioning for another glass of wine he began to rifle through the pockets of a jacket belonging to the man who was assigned the seat next to him. He hadn’t seen the man in a while but he had looked rich, so he took his valet ticket and was gone.

The lobby was no different, the faces talking at each other, saying nothing. The laugh-yelling and lack of communication was deafening. Still being relatively early, the valet line was short as he handed the ticked to the bored Mexican who passed a set of keys quickly to another boy who immediately vanished.

“Did you enjoy yourself, sir?” The Mexican asked in perfect English.

“You know, it was okay.” He responded as he looked down and absently scraped dried come from his suit .

“Excellent.”

The arrival of a Bentley Continental pleased him slightly while eliciting exactly no reaction whatsoever from anyone else. He fished in his coat pocket for a tip and gave the indifferent youth a twenty dollar bill before climbing into his new car. Not quite sure how to drive it, he assumed that it would be more difficult than in reality it was. After a few excruciating moments in front of the growing valet line he pulled the car off into the dusty black night.

Once free from the gala he was gripped by another anxiety, that of what or where he should go next. His phone was blank and with no date or friends, the entire city was his for the taking. The issue at present, of course was direction. Deciding to maximize the use of his vehicle he took a northeastern route to Sunset Boulevard where he would likely find what he desired.

Being a Saturday night the strip between Sunset West and Fairfax was, incredibly crowded with every sort of the worst people; tourists, poseurs and derelicts of every stripe. The Bentley blended in with all the other comparable cars as he somewhat disinterestedly scanned the sidewalk, looking for what, he couldn’t be sure. Then an idea crystallized in his mind, consuming his being. He knew what he had to do, and at the stoplight on La Cienega  he contemplated how best to kill as many of them as possible.

The size and weight of the vehicle he was in would likely afford him the most firepower, so he surveyed his options. As luck would have it, a large group was gathered in front of the Mondrian and he felt in his blood that it would be good and decent of him to relieve several of them from this world.  Pressing the throttle to the floor, the two ton beast roared to life and off of the street, onto the sidewalk and through the crowd. The image reminded him of Sean Connery spooking a flock of birds into the propellers on an oncoming Fokker. Like the Fokker, the Bentley lost momentum in the gore and suddenly slammed to a halt against one of the large and completely useless decorative doors the hotel displays at its entrance.

Mildly dazed, he opened the door to survey his work. Screams filled the air and a general sense of excitement stirred his adrenaline further. Now feeling on the verge of mania, he had to decide his next move. The voices and screaming came from everywhere, surrounding him and his crime. Yet no one even so much as questioned him, or checked to see if he was injured. No, in fact he had managed to appear as one of the victims himself.

Then he noticed something else, something disturbingly odd. Of all the screams and movement, he didn’t sense one iota of panic. No, in fact the whole scene contained a much different tone and vibration than a reasonable person might expect. He looked down at the partially crushed head of a man, comfortably nestled between the tire and the sidewalk. The one exposed eye gleamed up, almost approvingly, thankfully. In death, he had made it. In certain circles, the opulence of his demise would be the thing of legend.

The crowd then quickened to a rush and  the screaming swelled to a fever pitch. Women slipped in the blood and broken bodies, pulling off their heels and running barefoot; the wet slapping of perfectly pedicured and bunioned feet. The security showed up and kept everyone at bay as the surging crowd continued away from the wrecked Bentley. He was at a loss. The scene was surreal. Until he finally understood what was going on.

The reason accident had gone completely unnoticed was drown out by the powerful hum and chug of a diesel engine. A diesel engine that just happened to be attached to a large tour bus that had just pulled in front of the House of Blues. This was where the crowd was going and this was what must have caused the driver of the Bentley to swerve off the road. As it would happen, LMFAO was on tour.

Working his way down Olive to Santa Monica Boulevard he was astonished that lighting had struck twice for him, but rationalized that it often does for well-dressed men who prefer to stay quiet. The rush of killing en mass had completely eclipsed his murder of the maid. He had achieved a higher state of being and awakened a lust that he must satisfy immediately. The issue at present was that now he was without vehicle and his phone still showed no calls.

He paused for a moment at Fountain and beheld the city from there. Expansive and full, it glimmered with possibility. This was the medium view, however. The finest views are reserved for those who can afford the hills or top floor offices. Those who furnish their homes at Restoration Hardware and prefer the “bespoke” options of the mass produced. He sighed in resigned anger and continued down.

The East didn’t hold anything for him so he turned West. Quite soon he came to the Beanery, where, being a Saturday night, the drunken assholes from Universities and crowded apartments far and wide came to wallow in each other.  The usual group looked through him from the deck, sucking their beers and talking as he went inside. He felt overdressed as he looked for anyone that he might possibly know. He had gotten lucky. He had to think and be smart about his next steps. The blood pulsed in his ears and he wished he had a gun or a blade or the Bentley back. But wait, he had to get a hold of himself…

Then he saw a neighbor of his, a man he topically knew as a musical arranger who worked from home. He approached him and was surprised to find that he was recognized.

” How’re you doing, man? I never thought you’d actually make it!”

“I wouldn’t dream of missing another invitation.”

“Good man, that’s good. Sit down, grab yourself a beer.”

He was introduced as an old college buddy which was a lie. He barely knew this guy. Fortunately, this was a game he knew well and he settled back with a drink to listen and think. He even loosened his tie. The festivities continued for some time as the conversation shifted to various topics such as music and writing and women. He felt oddly comfortable and was thankful none of the conversation involved him.

Several drinks later his head was in a swim and he had to use the bathroom. Perhaps he would find what he needed there. Working his way through the yammering, snapping crowd, a sudden commotion erupted as several uniformed policemen entered. From the door they surveyed the crowd and  everyone froze in their own guilt. Outside, the lights flashed on their cars. There was a third stopped by the side door effectively blocking all exits.

One of the cops, a bull-necked cock of a man set his gaze straight on him and motioned his partner who quickly said something into his radio. The cock strutted mechanically towards him, the crowd parting before him. His right hand went down to his sidearm. He knew it had all been too good to be true. A sick and beautiful dream come to a close. He thought about prison and what it would mean. He thought about his bills and who would feed his fish.

The cop handily pushed him aside and went into the bathroom where after a brief struggle and as flush of the toilet he led out a scraggly bastard in cornrows and a tank top. He leaned against the shuffleboard and watched in quiet amazement. The cops, whose routine was dialed precisely, then left with their suspect and gradually the hush turned to a hum then turned to a conversation as speculation ran wild. For those in the know, the arrested man was a known marijuana dealer and they lamented the extra effort they would have to put into completing their evening.

Breathing hard, he went to the bathroom and decided on the stall. Though safe, there was the mixture of anguish and beer that caused him to feel sick. He faced the toilet and began to wretch. Wisely acknowledging that it would only be a matter of moments before he was joined in the bathroom by any number of drunken baboons, he settled on just pissing instead.

As he finished up he noticed something behind the toilet. Something different. He leaned in to inspect closer and found that it was a pistol and it was loaded. He’d found what he needed in the bathroom after all! With a renewed sense of hope, he holstered the gun. He splashed water on his face and straightened his hair before cutting across through to the side exit and back into the night.

Several blocks west, Santa Monica Blvd turns decidedly gayer. The sidewalks alive and the shuffle and music are everywhere. At first he felt the eyes, then a quiet comment or two, then not so quiet. He felt acutely aware of himself here and the effect was unsettling. Then came a catcall and he quickened his pace.

Passing by the patio area of one of the larger venues, he heard the wailing of more sirens and turned to see several squad cars rushing West. A reddish Midwestern queen who had been watching, saw his opportunity.

“Why don’t you step inside hon. You’ll be safe here and may even get a drink or two out of it if you’re good.”

Before he had a chance to work his reeling mind into an answer he was swept inside. The queen had been absolutely right, he was lost immediately in the driving music. The queen had also been truthful about the drink which he produced as if by magic. He knew the stories and eyed it skeptically.

“Don’t worry honey, I’ve never had to resort to that.”

The reply wasn’t ideal.  Glancing back outside the last of the police cars sped by. The queen took him by the hand, which he immediately withdrew. The queen sensed a flirtation that wasn’t there, and then led him over to a table of his friends. All pleasant, and all quite drunk. He fumbled absently for the pistol in his coat which was interpreted as a search for a cigarette. Like the drink, the cigarette was procured instantaneously and just as quickly lit for him.

Not a smoker, he puffed feebly on the cigarette and sipped the sugary strong cocktail. He felt he needed the fortification so he drained it to the great delight of his hosts. The strong drink took only moments to re-ignite his previous intake. A strong buzz came over quick and suddenly the place was completely unbearable.

“I need to get out of here.” He said.

The Queen suggested that they go back to his place. A feeling of flattery and nausea came over him as he thought about the fag’s car and how he might be able to use it. Then he decided against it. The buses were still running so he excused himself and left the bar.

Back on the sidewalk the air was clearer but his head was still feeling the swim and he now had another feel of fire inside of him. Still nothing on his phone which didn’t surprise him much whatsoever. He doubted if he would or could have ever truly been missed at a place like that.

Several bums at the bus stop reeked of hot shit and garbage. Fuck, he didn’t want to have to deal with this sort of wretchedness in an enclosed area. But he had thought about his next move and it was now imperative that he backtrack and push west, west as far as he could go.

He got on and looked around at all the miserable bastards relegated to riding a bus at this time of night. A Mexican laughed at something on his phone. More Mexican teenagers sniggered and carried on amongst themselves. He noticed a large, quiet black and a few Indians or Arabs of some sort. In fact, he was the only white person on the bus aside from the bums. He moved to the back and sat down.

The bus ride down Santa Monica boulevard is a tedious stop and go insulated from the chaos outside. The gay bars melt into the corridor through Beverly Hills which is carefully insulated from the road. A large sedan screeched into the back of a small hatchback, crumpling the rear end and sending the smaller car spinning off to the side of the road. He saw numb terror in the driver’s eyes and everyone moved on as if nothing happened.

As the bus moved into the west side Mexicans got off and more got on. Some hipsters and college age kids as well. He was the only person dressed up as well. He hated the west side and the people that lived here. He sat and he pondered and grew angry and felt that a personal emergency was imminent. At the next stop most of the other passengers got off and the lights began to flicker.

Slowly the bus moved out back along and he remembered a hookah bar that was just up ahead on this side of the street. He was confident it would be full and it was. He called out to the driver and said he had an emergency. She made no acknowledgement whatsoever as he stumbled up and towards the front of the bus. He had to get to her if he was going to steer the bus into the sidewalk seating of the bar.

The bus bore down steadily when gunfire burst from an SUV into the front of the bar, mowing down the patrons in a satisfying mist of blood and gore and bone. Several of the gunmen had jumped out and with precision pumped more rounds into the scattered bodies, some writhing and screaming, but most dead. One of the men turned to the bus as it bore down on them and shot through the windshield, blowing the driver’s head apart as the bus slammed into the SUV and over the sidewalk.

He couldn’t believe his eyes. It appeared everyone was dead. He looked back into the bus and saw the big black get up and walk off the bus. An old woman sat staring forward silently. He opened the door and stepped out into the blood. Not everyone was dead, but they soon would be. Apparently there were others that had had the urge to take out the hookah bar. He was furious. No matter what he did, there were always others out to do the same. Often better.

Amongst the bits of human meat that littered the sidewalk and the front of the café he found something that would make his night infinitely better. A sign from God and the sort of thing that can turn a man’s mood quickly around. The Tech 9 was beautiful and loaded. He looked around and found another couple of magazines that he stuffed into his pants. Traffic went on as usual but in the distance sirens could be heard approaching so he ducked off into the alleys and continued west.

Now it was just a matter of impulse. He hadn’t the luxury to think anymore, he had to act or others would act for him. He found a group of college boys walking drunkenly and killed them. He knew he would have hated them and felt nothing aside from the thrill of satisfaction. A girl was arguing with her boyfriend and he forced her to strip down before shooting him in the throat. Then he shot her too. They fell like pins. He giggled with manic glee and rushed on.

Down into the state streets there were more college kids and other types that he couldn’t relate to. They made him sick. If he caught any alone or off away from the street he would kill them where they stood. The death aroused him but once the girls fell broken and dead like deer he didn’t want them anymore. Still no calls on his cell phone. No sirens either. In fact the noise from the cars and people and music and everything seemed to drown out his actions. Despite it all, he still felt silenced.

His wake was terrible. The carnage climaxed within him and suddenly he felt nothing anymore as he continued put rounds from the into anyone and everyone he could find. The pause caused people to turn uninterestedly and then turn back to what they were doing. He killed them too, sending brains onto their friends before they too were killed. What had gone wrong in him? Was he sick? Something was dying in him and now his actions took on the mania of a dying animal.

Angrily passing a sports bar he now understood what was happening. A USC football game was on. Again he  was slighted by forces far superior and out of his control. He wished his guns were bombs. He wished he could tear everyone limb from limb and eat their bodies and reduce them to his shit. He couldn’t kill enough of them. He was losing control and couldn’t focus. He had to escape this hell he was in.

Just then, he was out of bullets and onto the sea. Nothing further out save the blinking lights of ships and oil rigs. He tossed the Tech 9 at a taxi and walked down onto the sand. The beach was dark and quiet, the rolling of the waves beckoning him closer. He pulled out the tiny worn Glock and turned it over in his hands. He looked at his cell phone again; still nothing. He pitched it into the black water. His pulse began to slow, but he felt empty, defeated.

He stared at the water for a long time with the gun still tightly in his hand. He turned behind him and down the coast and saw the city aglow reddish-orange as if it were burning. He knew it was hell. All of it was beyond him and he wondered if he had ever met another human being and decided he had not. He let the city burn as he turned back to the ocean and the Glock, which was all he had left.

He’d been a plus one his entire life and truly felt he was out of options. Alone with his thoughts at last, he didn’t know what to do. Then a splash. He turned and saw a girl looking out into the ocean as well. Naturally she didn’t notice him. Then another splash coming from the other side. It was the black man from the bus. He too stared at the ocean and turned to him and nodded before walking in.

Another splash and he turned back to the girl who was now in the water. The man was gone. A teenage boy threw his phone in and marched into the sea. It was incredible. Dozens of people were now marching in around him. Old, young, black, white, brown, yellow. Suddenly the beach was aglow as the hellfire of Los Angeles shone on them all. He decided to throw the Glock into the water. He wouldn’t be needing it any longer.

As he walked into the ocean the water was clogged with the drowned and drowning being tossed in the surf. The cold water splashed and pulled at him as he worked his way out until his feet no longer touched and the sea entered his lungs and he no longer cared about the other people or his phone or hate or any of it. The tide sucked at his legs and he felt warm before everything went dark and silent.

 

Ode to S.F.

Danse Macabre with the faggots in San Francisco. A twisted night of boozing and grabbing asses as they did coke and clawed to a greater understanding and purpose. The streets were narrow and full of people, a terrorizing notion at this point, yet we prevailed. There was no reason for these nights other than youth and a small sum of collected money and the driving, fiery urge to get fucked up and let the world know who you are.

So we played this game. We drank on the Muni and hassled the locals and ate late at Sparkey’s and my head pounded in abject misery for the following forty-eight hours. Yet I would never take a moment of it back. I have long held that a man (or woman) is only true when all filters are removed and they can properly express themselves. Many, (myself included) find a tremendous amount of shame in these times of personal base revelation. Yet the necessity is there if you want to feel ALIVE.

Those nights landed me in dubious company, stabbing a tire, running, and into the ocean more times than I can count. A stop-action fragmented blur of faces and places and sounds. There was a feeling of infinity then. Of limitless possibility that you either embraced or surrendered to in sniveling, kowtowed fear. Most of us end up with this fear as we get old; all of us have to fight it at some point.

Bela Lugosi is dead. Susan Sarandon feigning a dyke act with some frog woman while baboons screech like cats and age and die to dusty bones. The music and the feel of it. The blood-pulse of the City by the Bay, pre irony.

We drank and hassled and fought and fucked and trashed and spent and slept in the streets and the sand. We came hard as outsiders (we’re all outsiders in the city) and we stamped in human soul our mark in the pastiche that makes up the place. The gratuitous obscenity of it. The laughable ruse. All worth the drive and the time.

The Interview

It was time to play a game that I wasn’t particularly fond of but was told by reliable sources that I should be. It was earlier than I’d gotten up in a while. Out of current routine, I put on a suit and combed my recently cut hair.

I was exploring options this morning. Moving upward in hopes of the chance to get the chance to hopefully work my way into middle class comfort in twenty years’ time. A brand new day.

The air is different in the morning when you haven’t been out in a while. The colors crisper and the pace manic and irritable. The car started without issue and I eased it into the thick flow of traffic working its way southwest, the cradle of employment on this side of the hill.

A pleasant surprise manifested itself in a relatively painless commute followed by an equally painless parking experience. My destination was a standard courtyard-centric commercial brick job. People moved about like worker ants, each with a singular task in hand. I navigated through them and found suite number whatever-the-hell, and after a deep breath went in.

Looking around in the lobby I was only one of several in their late twenties and I was the only one wearing a suit. My transition from picture frame salesman to something more fulfilling hadn’t been going as smoothly as I’d hoped so here I found myself at ten a.m. on a Wednesday morning waiting to be interviewed.

I should have known something wasn’t right in that lobby. I represented a different facet of society that what was going on here. I was somehow a symbol of what was wrong in the world to these people and I felt it in  their stares. I was thinking maybe I shouldn’t have worn a suit.

After what seemed an eternity of staring at my resume and hearing the scratching of pencils on clipboards from all the other applicants that came streaming in a hundred at a time, my name was called.

As I stood up the pointed stares got worse. Who was this guy? Is he here to AUDIT the operation? To SHUT IT DOWN and RUIN our chances of WORK? Is that what’s going on? They hated me and I understood. I hated me too at that moment.

I walked into what looked like a back room at some underfunded elementary school. Short-pile orange carpet worn down to the linoleum. Wood-grained cheap siding on the walls. A “hang in there” poster and various other examples of desperation and misery.

The dumpy Mexican teenage girl that led me in stopped behind the flimsy desk and bade me have a seat.  Then she sat down. Evidently she was going to be conducting the interview.

She produced some silly looking reading glasses and looked down at my resume.

“How old are you Mr. –”

“Twenty nine. I’m not sure you can ask me that.”

I probably should have just walked out at that moment, but I had already committed hours of my life in that lobby and I needed to see this through.

“Of course, it’s for informational purposes only. So, what do you know about marketing?”

“I know that anything I don’t know I can learn.”

“Huh. You studied political science –”

“And literature”

“– what’s that?”

“Literature? Oh, well, they’re both nothing really. I guess I should have thought about that when I was seventeen, but here we are. ”

“Skills?”

“I’ve pulled weeds, worked as a sales associate, gas station attendant, line cook, waiter, janitor, apprentice mechanic, groundskeeper, book keeper, file clerk, receptionist; I’ve worked light construction. I can pour concrete and wire a lamp. I’ve taught myself some computer programming, and I can type. I tried to launch several small businesses and failed, from night clubs to t-shirts.  I speak Spanish and am learning Italian. I know who Christopher Marlowe was.”

“So no marketing?”

“No.”

“I see. Well, what we do here is take on highly trainable individuals and GIVE THEM THE TOOLS TO SUCCEED in the highly competitive world of marketing. Let me ask you, do you game?”

“My buddy wanted to name his kid ‘Wolf the Quarrelsome,’ but his wife nixed it.”

“Is that a World of Warcraft character?”

“Don’t think so…”

“Look, mister –”

“Rhymes with ‘wiener.’”

“– Why did you come here? I mean, what brought you to our company?”

“Well, I guess food and bills. Expanding my skill set. You know, it’s tough times out there.”

“Oh, I know it, I’m still paying student loans. Studied MARKETING at Cal State Dominguez Hills.”

“That’s fantastic.”

She looked at me for a moment, and  the stupid dance was over. She pulled her big ass out of the chair and extended her hand. I shook it. It was small and boney and damp.

“Thank you for coming in. We’ll keep your resume on file and will be sure to contact you if we feel that you might be a good fit in one of our branches. As a quickly growing multinational marketing company, new opportunities come up almost every day.”

“That’s very kind, thank you.”

“Leticia will validate you.”

“I’ll bet she will.”

I took my briefcase and my suit and my haircut and I walked over to Leticia at the receptionist desk and she validated me and I was on my way.

Driving home I was happy that it was still early and traffic wouldn’t be that bad heading west at this time. I found Pico and knew I was just a few turns and about half an hour away from getting out of this monkey suit and seeing what was playing on TCM.

The Good Stink in BH

There are few places more wretched and soulless in the world than Beverly Hills, Ca. Mecca for all the money-flushed bottom feedersofevery stripe and creed, Beverly Hills has always attracted the worst of the worst. So much so that even most Hollywood types refuse tolive there on a permanent basis for fear that what little soul they have might be sucked out into the void of the ever rotating milieu of upscale store fronts. These stores are concentrated around the infamous Rodeo Drive, where suckers go to spend and dreams go to die.

But like most cesspools, if you look hard enough there is a tiny glimmer of hope. In this case that is the Beverly Hills Cheese Store. For those that don’t like cheese, I would recommend to stop reading immediately and do whatever it is you do besides read and eat cheese. This store is quite simply the finest establishment for cheese mongering I have found in Los Angeles. I’m sure the usual slew of hipster assholes will point out that they know of some locally sourced, civic-minded cheese dispensary in Silver Lake that I’m supposed to give a shit about. Sufficed to say, I don’t. Cheese can be bought anywhere, but the BH Cheese Store is different.

For starters, it smells like a cheese store should: a neglected roller skating rink. The pungent smell that in any other context is utterly revolting, is ambrosia to one’s nostrils and in short order, one’s palate. This store, for its tiny footprint and almost assuredly outrageous monthly rent has stocked all of the finest of everything that doesn’t contain alcohol. Tetilla from Galicia? You got it. Saint-Nectaire from Auvergne? Got that too. How old do you like your gouda? Perfect. If you are in the market for capers, jam, mustards, bread (soft or crusty) or any other indulgent, imported, over priced goody that few people you know will truly appreciate you’ve come to the right venue.

So why am I in the back pocket of this place? Quite simply, because it is the only glimpse of humanity I found in an otherwise bereft village of the damned. People come to Los Angeles to visit for whatever reason, and I’d like to think that not many make a return trip. The hot spots are not for the faint of heart. From stroller injuries and heatstroke at Universal Studios, to syphilitic pickpockets on Hollywood boulevard, the land where dreams come true is anything but. But every once in a while, if you look close enough, you find a gem like BHCS.

I never expected a chance to sample the wares. I was dead wrong. I got a taste of fucking everything in the place. Or would have had I asked. Not only is everything delicious, but they let you make sure before you buy it. The service is impeccable, almost like they rely on people to buy things in order to stay in business. To find that on Rodeo Drive in the heart of Beverly Hills is akin to something as implausible and stupid as you might find on an Old Spice commercial, say involving a polar bear and lightning.

Recently I found myself in this stinky oasis with the cackling group of hens I call my family. All opinionated and fond of cheese, I thought this experience would turn into the equivalent of getting people to agree on a pizza. I was blissfully mistaken. Once in that pungent heaven, the excitement of the prospect of all the lactic goodness coupled by the gentle guidance of the cheese monger put my tour guide duties in the capable hands of the cheese.

The ladies and I sniffed, nibbled and did all matter of masculine activities as we narrowed our selection down to eight cheeses from around the world. That’s right, before fist fighting and talking about tits with my friends, I was going to eat cheeses with my mother, grandmother and two aunts. This sort of behavior is the “pink shirt” proving how comfortable I am with my masculinity.

After everything was said and done the bill came to a reasonable $90, which I had thought I was erroneously paring down by suggesting we pick up bread elsewhere. The joke was on me, because they threw in the bread – two baguettes – for free. That’s the kind of place this is.  At the risk of beating a dead horse, in the land where taking a piss costs a few bucks American, getting bread for free is simply incredible.

I paid and went we went on our way, assuring the monger that I always bring family and friends here when they come to town. While true, I feel he could have cared less, and that made me care even more.  I’m sure I will have spent more than I care to think about at this establishment before it gets turned into a Wetzel’s Pretzels, but I sincerely hope that it outlasts my time here.

Sure there are other cheese stores, but who cares? There are other of everything everywhere. If you live anywhere near BH and family or friends come to visit , they will invariably want to visit Rodeo Drive and take pictures and do whatever it is they feel is important. If you make the trek, head over to Beverly Drive and do the BHCS a  solid. If you don’t like cheese, well then you’ve just wasted a few minutes of your day.

 

A Simple Request From A Weary Man

I came to what could be called a traveler

And far be it for I to diminish a man’s dreams

He called to me

And I saw a glimmer in his tired rheumy eyes

Of a life of harsh visions

His skin and clothes dirty

He called to me, this man

And said:

“I hope you get AIDS and DIE”

Far be it for me to diminish a man’s wishes either

But my laughter only caused him to mock me

A furious cackle issued from his diseased

And travelled throat

I could only assume he meant it in all sincerity

And still do

Though I’ve yet to oblige him

A Bad Day At The Office

It was one of those in-between days, in that wasn’t unbearably hot but had a filmy grime quality that makes you feel like you need a shower. It’s hard to get motivated in times like these and really try to make a go of it. Max hadn’t. The suit he had on was too small because he couldn’t afford a new one and ever since twenty seven he began to get fat in all the wrong places. But he had to wear a suit so he wore the one he had.

See, Max was driving home from the first grown-up job that he had really ever held. He wasn’t pumping gas or Xeroxing papers at a stationary store. He had gone to college like an ambitious man should, and now at thirty, he was working a job that required grooming and that’s what made his wife happy.

Still, this filmy, filthy fucking weather made it so he couldn’t wait to get out of traffic. His ten year old car stank from the smoker that had owned it before him. The heat and the cloth interior and the smoky ghost of the previous owner was pushing things to the limit as he pulled his car into the too-narrow carport that passes for parking when you live in an apartment.

Once inside, the place was an icebox and the TV was cranked all the way to the “E” in “VOLUME.”

“What the shit is going on here?” yelled Max.

The lack of immediate answer was made more irritating by the suit jacket bunching along his sweaty expanding back as he tore it off.

“I said, what THE SHIT?!”

Laurel came out of the kitchen dressed in the same dumpy stay-at-home clothes she always wore. Some loose old skirt and a loose old shirt. She didn’t try anymore because she didn’t have to.

“What are you screaming and carrying on about Maxy-poo?”

Her teeth were already that sickening maroon. The bloody tusks of an elephant. She’d probably been at the cabernet for hours and it was only seven o’clock.

“Nothing, just why does the TV have to be so goddamned loud? My head hurts and my feet hurt and all hell broke loose at the office just before the day was up.”

“You say that every night. If you were supposed to like it, it wouldn’t be a JOB, silly.”

These comments made things more irritating, but Max was learning to pick his battles. They had only been married a year and although she had suggested it, they never got a pre-nup, so if he blew it she’d be getting fucked by someone else while he got stuck with the tab.

“I’m gonna change –”

Laurel was already back in the kitchen. There was only so much she could be expected to care about Max’s woes when every single day was a slight variation of the last.

“– AND I’M GOING TO HAVE TWO MARTINIS!”

He climbed out of the tiny suit and hung it up next to the portable steamer. One of the few practical things that came from the wedding, since otherwise he’d go broke trying to keep the damn suit clean and relatively wrinkle free.

The road to success had more booby traps than the Ho Chi Minh trail. You weren’t really ever supposed to make it, unless by it you meant success and fortune for other people.

Max walked into the bathroom and splashed water on his face. Amazing how once you notice age it spreads like a cancer. The cracks and spots and wrinkles; the gaping pores and random hairs. It was well past time for that martini.

Back in the living room, Laurel had mercifully turned the volume down on the television. Max went over to their sorry excuse for a bar cart and poured cheap vodka and even cheaper vermouth into the shaker.

“Got any olives left?”

“Mmm?” Came muffled from the kitchen.

“Olives? OLIVES?”

Fuck it.

He stirred it up and poured it into a glass. More of a shot that a martini, but he rather not go in there for ice and olives and catch hell for something. He sat down on the couch with his drink and picked up the remote and pulled up the menu. Laurel was on him immediately.

“Don’t!”

“Don’t what, for fuck’s sake?”

“Don’t CHANGE it! I want to see who she ends up with. I bet it’s Skylar.”

“Skylar’s a faggot.”

“You’re just jealous. What you have there? A martini? Ugh, is it hot? It looks hot. Why didn’t you ask for ice? Why do you insist on drinking martinis? Do you think you’re some big Don Draper type now that you have a job that requires a suit? Your boyfriend?”

“Don Draper doesn’t drink martinis, he drinks old fashioneds. Now stop being vulgar, I’m trying to unwind here.”

“Don’t call me that! I’m just teasing you know. You can dish it, but you sure can’t take it. Such a hypocrite. My hubby is such a hypocrite.”

“You just don’t understand the psyche of the creative male. I’m being murdered slowly by this nonsensical shit created by depraved monsters to collect money from me that I don’t care to earn.”

“I thought you wanted a Ferrari? Hypocrite. Right, the car from the poster from when you were a kid? If you drink too much you won’t shut up about it and you always drink too much.”

Max kicked his legs up on the coffee table and wiggled his toes as he drained the warm, shitty martini. He thought that he should trim his toenails soon.

“Oooh, look who’s mad now? Ignoring me? You can dish it, but can’t take it. What are you thinking about?”

He put his glass down on the table. The table needed replacing. Or at least re-finishing.

“Do you ever think any thoughts that you don’t barf out and hurl at me?”

Depending on what kind of wine-drunk Laurel was on she’d either laugh it off or he’d just wrote his own ticket. She looked down at him quizzically for a moment and then here face softened and cracked into a playful grin.

“Come here, Maxy-waxy!”

Her breath was of stale wine and garlic and cigarettes. Apparently he’d married a Sicilian woman ninety years ago. Still, better than fighting. She broke the kiss and smiled at him.

“Let me get you some ice and olives so you can have a REAL one of those.”

“It was real enough.”

“Huh? Maaaaaaax…”

“I mean, thank you babe. That’d be nice.”

Foolishly, he took it to the brink that time. In this god awful greasy in-between weather it’s no good sleeping on an itchy old couch like this, chicken feathers from the pillows poking you in the ass and behind the joints as you toss and turn.

Max took the opportunity to smack Laurel on the behind as she wiggled away. They were too young for everything to go to hell, but at least she still had a nice ass. Nice and round. Maybe they weren’t so young anymore after all.

Laurel came back out and fixed him a new martini in a fresh glass and handed it over. This one was good and chilled. She had a good ass and she could make a good martini. Two things to be thankful for as long as they lasted.

She handed it to him and took the dirty glass and with a peck on the head she went back to the kitchen.

“Dinner’ll be ready in a few, so don’t get too comfortable, Maxy.”

What was it about everything that’s so goddamned annoying? At least sitting wasn’t bad. And this drink wasn’t too bad as long as you watched it, because then it’d get too good and then it would be so much worse later.

Then the lights dimmed. Laurel poked her head out of the kitchen with her fishbowl full of red wine.

“Dinner’s on, babe.”

“What about your TV show?”

“That’s what the DVR is for, now come on before it gets cold!”

“So it was recording…”

“Huh?”

“Nothing. Coming.”

“Okay. And don’t MUMBLE. I hate it when you MUMBLE.”

“Yes, treasure. I know. I love you and I’m sorry.”

She was already back in the kitchen. He followed her in. The kitchen flowed into the dining area which was all just one cramped space that was only partially separated from the rest of the tiny apartment. She had lit candles and the food was laid out nicely on wedding-gift plates atop wedding-gift placemats.

It was the same meal as always. Stuffed frozen sole and some pre-packaged greens and some cheap wine. Sometimes the meal was chicken. Laurel was no good at cooking so this would have to do until they went out to eat which wasn’t often.

She poured him a glass of wine as he worked on the second half of his second martini. Then she topped herself off and pleased as punch, took off her apron and placed it up on a small hook next to the stove. She took a seat on that rump of hers.

“How was your day, sweetie Maxy?”

“Shit. Yours?”

Laurel paused and then took a small bite and paused again. She looked Max square in the face but he was moving his fish around with the fork and wasn’t paying attention.

“Why was it shit?”

“Whaddaya mean?”

“I mean, why was your day shit? What made it so o-so shitty?”

“I don’t wanna talk about it. No big deal, it was fine.”

“No it wasn’t. Now what made it SHIT?”

He took another sip.

“The usual. Answering phones, moving paperwork from one place to the other. My suit bunching up, people talking and me pretending to give a shit, feigning concern and smiling.”

“I see.”

Laurel went back to eating her food as she eyed her quarry. Max didn’t acknowledge it with his two martini buzz and his desire to avoid a fight. If he kept it quiet and maybe they would screw later. They never fucked during the week because they were both tired and they both stank and usually had a bad attitude.

“Max?”

“Yeah, babe? The food is great, thank you.”

“I don’t want to talk to you about the fucking FOOD, Max. I want to know what you would do if you won the lottery. Let’s say a hundred million dollars. What would you do? Think you would EVER have another shit day?”

“Those are two different things.”

He knew it was boiling up and now he was deep in enemy territory. If he didn’t watch his next  step, he’d be in worse misery than at the office and in traffic and all of it. He naively tried to set things right:

“Well, I guess I would pay off our debt and we could get a nice house. Go on vacation and maybe start a family. Have kids. With that kinda dough we could send ‘em to a good school. I think that’s what I would do.”

Laurel thought on this for a moment before she downed her wine in an impressive gulp and THREW the glass against the wall which was near enough to get shards on both their plates.

“DON’T GIVE ME THAT BULLSHIT!”

“But babe…”

“NO! NO, NO, NO, NONONONONONONO! FUCK!

“What’s up, peanut? You on the rag, huh? Here, let me pick up that glass. I guess we both just had a bad day.”

“You pick up that glass and I’ll cut off your cock and cook that up for dinner. Just see if I won’t! Now I asked you: if you WON a HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS, what would you do?”

Max took down the rest of the martini and chased it with the sugary cheap wine as he chewed the olives.

“I guess, I would invest the money so we would never have to work again and I would write. Maybe move by the sea.”

Laurel was staring right through to his cowering soul and then she began to laugh.

“There. The truth. The truth! My little Ernest Hemingway and Warren Buffett baby. You think Ernest Hemingway and Warren Buffett FUCKED and you’re their kid and maybe you just don’t know it but you got this FIRE that only YOU have, and you just haven’t gotten a chance to BURN yet?”

“Don’t give me this load of horseshit, Laurel. You asked.”

“And I got the same answer I got every goddamn night! If you had money you could do whatever the fuck you wanted! You have the brains for art and finance and travel and charm! You’re the most interesting man in the goddamned world! Rotting away in this shitty apartment because you wanted to marry me to shut me up!”

“No, I married you because I love you. Now don’t hassle me about my dreams. We’re not gonna win any hundred million bucks.”

Your dreams. What about MY dreams?”

“Those are good too.”

Laurel flipped her glass-covered plate across the table into Max’s face and onto his lap.

“What the hell, babe? Just cool it, okay? Laurel?”

“DON’T ‘BABE’ ME, YOU COCKSMOKING SON OF OLD MEN! I SIT HERE ALL DAY ALONE AND MISERABLE WHILE YOU GO OUT INTO THE WORLD AND THEN I GET CRITICIZED FOR WATCHING TV AND COOKING YOUR DINNER AND LISTENING TO YOU WHINE!”

A drop of blood fell on the table. Probably from his face somewhere. He had a good big head and a wide face perfect for catching shit. He got up and walked out of the kitchen area.

He cleaned himself off as the banshee screaming continued and Laurel broke more of the little they had. He put on his old sneakers and observed the holes forming over the pinky toes. He had a good wide face and good wide feet. Too bad about his dick.

Then Laurel appeared, wild eyed and dripping crimson gore.

“Jesus, what did you do?”

“It’s WINE! The only thing that makes me happy in this joke of a marriage!”

“Oh.”

And with that Max stepped out into the night. The air had calmed some and the dirty filthy feeling wasn’t as bad anymore. He had two martinis down and most of a glass of wine and was feeling okay. Work came awful early so he needed to get a drink before he crossed into the hour of regret.

Walking down the street he knew he looked like hell but no one seemed to notice or care. That was the beauty of living in the city. There was always crazier and everyone was too self-absorbed to pay any attention to you. Max bet himself that he could shove a roman candle up his ass and fart fire at cars and no one would really care.

As he got to the bar he figured there must be at least six million other pathetic bastards out there who got put through the wringer like he just did. Good thing there were plenty of bars and liquor stores. Maybe he should go into the liquor business, it seems people need it more than food most times.

The bar was gloriously sparse. He sidled up on a stool as Davey, the washed out fag that tended bar came over.

“How’s it going Maxy?”

“I had a bad day at the office, Davey. Give me a well whiskey and a beer.”

Like magic, the drinks were there within seconds. That’s what made Davey a miracle worker when it came to tending bar. He didn’t ask too many questions and got your drink right and stiff the first time.

“I know what would make your day better.”

“If  that worked for me Davey, I would get divorced tomorrow and move you in. I could almost give up tits for the way you make a drink, but not the other.”

“Some girls have all the luck.”

Davey moved back down the bar as Max drained his whiskey and gazed out the open door into the cooling night. Out there was everyone. The sick and the rich, the ambitious, the mad, the lazy. All the girls in the world lived here in this great land of opportunity.

Then a low GROWL grew as it neared the stretch of road in front of the bar. It was the Ferrari that Max had on his poster as a kid. Must have been twenty five years old but it still looked great. The guy driving looked like he shat gold nuggets out of his tight little asshole and the girl next to him looked like she ate them up as quickly as she could. The light changed and the car roared off.

Max turned back to his beer and looked down into the glass, and the bubbles moving up in erratic trajectories toward his face. I wonder what it would be like if they could move past the top and hit my face? He thought. Might be nice when it’s real hot out. Max ordered another round and thought about the bubbles.

It’s Okay, the Audience is Deaf

In these days when most art is as forgettable

As most music

And promoting oneself takes equally little talent

I wonder about those that claim inspiration

From their group of peers

The same sycophantic clit twiddling

Hacks

That just re-shit each other’s garbage

Or rip off the dead

Before moving on

Having forgotten about it like everything else

I wonder

How are they going to spend their parent’s money?

Like Mother Like Daughter

She has the golden

Gift to gab

She is used to getting her way out

Of whatever

Thus, when her card is pulled

It seems alien

She can’t stand it

But she is an user

No not like a junkie

She uses up everything

Everyone has around her

She flirts with old men

And she is good at it

As if she has experience

She knows how to make them hard

And give her whatever

She likes to hustle

When you hit it from behind

She pulls back her ass checks

She swallows your cum

Like a real experienced hoe

She knows how to make a guy happy in bed

She is used to getting by in life

With her

looks

Her body

As her mom has

As her future shall hold